The coalition Government made a commitment to review public bodies, with the aim of increasing accountability for actions carried out on behalf of the state. The triennial review of the Council for Science and Technology is one of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reviews of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) scheduled to commence during the third year of the programme (2013-14). The review will commence in April 2013. This is not a review of the policy relating to science and technology, to which the Government remain committed.
The review will be conducted as set out in Cabinet Office guidance, in two stages.
The first stage will:
Identify and examine the key functions of the Council for Science and Technology and assess the requirement for these to continue;
If continuing, then assess delivery options and where the conclusion is that a particular function is still needed, examine how this function might best be delivered, including a cost and benefits analysis where appropriate;
If one of these options is continuing delivery through the Council for Science and Technology then make an assessment against the Government’s “three tests”: technical function; political impartiality; need for independence from Ministers.
If the outcome of stage 1 is that delivery should continue through the Council for Science and Technology then the second stage of the project will be to ensure that it is operating in line with the recognised principles of good corporate governance, using the Cabinet Office “comply or explain” standard approach.
When completed the report of the review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.